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Two poker sites to cough up $731 million

John Moe Aug 1, 2012

Whoa! That’s a big winning hand! Someone must have had like a billion Aces of Spades or something. Under a new settlement, two well-known online poker operations, Poker Stars and Full Tilt will pay out $731 million, the money going to customers who were ripped off. Full Tilt will shut down as a result of the agreement.
The New York Times says:

According to court documents released on Tuesday, Full Tilt Poker had taken money from the accounts of the bettors and distributed it to its owners despite telling the bettors that they could withdraw their money at any time. The documents did not say whether any bettors had been prevented from withdrawing their money.
Mr. Bharara described the bettors as victims, saying the settlement would “allow us to quickly get significant compensation into the victim players’ hands.”

It was essentially a Ponzi scheme that was being run. Customers were told that the sites, officially located off shore, were keeping their money in a segregated account. Not so.
For its part, Poker Stars says it is glad to clear up this whole situation which was clearly a misunderstanding. Uh-huh. The gambling industry is trying to play nice by the government right now in hopes of clearing the way for more online gambling.

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